I took capoeira from very late 2008 to June of 2010 when I moved away from California. I knew where the capoeira group in NYC was. I knew that I could join other groups, but I didn’t. I left capoeira in California. I left it because despite the beauty and how much I loved it, it also hurt me. Love and hurt were no longer in equal measure, but hurt was greater. After a long break, I’m returning.
My new group requires that everyone new to the group must go through an absolute beginners class. It was a humbling experience. Things that I once was good at were now beyond my ability. I knew I was too weak, but what I didn’t expect was to have a jumble of memories. Just enough to make it familiar when I finally got it right, but not enough to make the journey to right any shorter or easier.
Now because of my schedule I attend an all levels class. I’m clearly the newest. Clearly the weakest. The only one who has not been through a batizado. The only one without a nom de guerra. I am constantly asked to do movements that were challenging for me when I left. Things I was still trying to perfect. Today my teacher suggested that I do a cartwheel without hands. Fear took a seat deep in my abdomen, and I refused. I could once, but I doubt that I could now. Maybe again. Maybe again soon.